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Sylacauga is a city in Talladega Countymarker, Alabamamarker, United Statesmarker. At the 2000 census the population was 12,616.

Nick-names for Sylacauga include: "The Marble City," "Buzzard's Roost," "Sly Town."

Sylacauga is the site of the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person. On November 30, 1954, a 4 kg piece of what became known as the Hodges Meteoritemarker crashed through the roof of an Oak Grovemarker house, bounced off a radio, and badly bruised Mrs. Ann Hodges, who was taking an afternoon nap.

History

The first settlers in the Coosa River Valley were the Creek Indians. Sylacauga was first mentioned in Hernando DeSoto's records in 1540. The unusual name "Sylacauga" has spawned two opposing stories as to its origin and meaning. Some say the name is made up of two Indian words - "Chalaka-ge" meaning "The place of the Chalaka Tribe". The city has long been locally nicknamed "Buzzard's Roost." The city was first incorporated as Syllacoga in 1838 and again in 1887 as Sylacauga. Sylacauga, "The Marble City", is constructed on a solid deposit of the hardest, whitest marble in the world. The bed is approximately 32 miles long by one and one half miles wide and 400 feet deep.[15477]

Sylacauga history continues to change, as Sylacauga has become a new golf "mecca" with the construction of Pursell Farm's Farmlinks facility. See link -[15478]

Industry

Sylacauga is considered to be a prime location for manufacturing. It is home to one of three Blue Bell Creameries manufacturing facilities, which produces Blue Bell brand ice cream. In addition, Sylacauga is home to: Imerys; Nemak Aluminum Components; Omya Alabama; Heritage Plastics, Fleetwood Metals, Agrium Advanced Technologies, Progressive Industries, American Foam Cast, Miller Lumber, Velcon Filters, Merryweather Foam, Harrell's Fertilizer, Davis Bait Company, Dixie Color Printing and Packaging, Heacock Metal, Horn Patterns, KPL Industries, Morris Custom Marble & Granite, MT South, Southern Alloy, Sylacauga Marine, M&N Alloy, Coosa Valley Vault, Alabama Marble Company and numerous others. Because of its strategic location in relation to Honda Manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, and Hyundai, Sylacauga is viewed as a target location by many automotive suppilers.

Geography

Sylacauga is located at (33.178360, -86.251068) .

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.6 square miles (48.3 km²), of which, 18.5 square miles (48.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.59%) is water.

Sylacauga has a large deposit of the world's whitest marble which has been quarried for over 100 years. Below are listed some of the historical facts about this local deposit starting from the late 1920s:

In spite of the approaching depression, the late 1920’s and early 30’s were times of spectacular growth for Sylacauga’s marble industry. Technology changed the course of the industry when electricity replaced steam.

Countless small marble operations had sprung up throughout the years. Facing tough competition, many went out of business or were absorbed by the larger companies, Alabama and Moretti-Harrah. One such significant merger was in 1929 when the Madras Marble Company (formerly Sylacauga Marble Corporation) merged with Moretti-Harrah.

In 1935 the Moretti-Harrah Company was sold to B.F. Coggins of Atlanta and T.A. McGahey of Columbus, Mississippi; and later in 1944, Coggins sold the Sylacauga operation and Columbia Marble Company of North Carolina to McGahey. Alabama Marble Company remained under the same management until 1963 when it merged with The Georgia Marble Company.

The reputation of Sylacauga marble producers began to be evidenced by numerous building projects throughout the nation. Alabama Marble Company supplied marble for the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. Marble supplied for the Washington monument was so like its Italian counterpart, “Carrara,” that it was placed aside until a confirmation of its origin could be made. Moretti-Harrah, in a 3 ½ year project shared by Gray-Knox Marble Company of Knoxville, supplied much of the marble for the U.S. Supreme Court Building, including thirty-six massive interior columns measuring 22’ long x 3’4” in diameter.

Listing all the buildings which display this lustrous stone would be difficult; but a few memorable projects are the Dime Savings Bank (NY), the Mercedes-Benz showroom (NY), the Chicago Post Office, the Alabama Archives Building, the Chrysler Mausoleum (NY), and the Al Jolson Shrine (CA). Cream marble from Sylacauga can be found in hotels, offices, mausoleums, memorials and homes across the country.

One of the world’s greatest sculptors, Gutzon Borglum, creator of Mt. Rushmore, sculpted a masterpiece from Alabama Marble – the bust of Lincoln – which stands today in the rotunda of the nation’s capitol. Borglum commented that the fine texture of Alabama marble enabled him to portray the expression of kindness on Lincoln’s face that he had never been able to do with any other stone.

By the 1940’s endless uses for calcium products extracted from the marble deposits became obvious. Calcium was needed for agricultural, pharmaceutical and paint products.

Alabama Marble Company had already moved in this direction, having introduced its first Raymond Mill products for animal feed, insecticides, and joint cement materials in 1933. By-products were sold under the name of Alabama Calcium Products. By 1964, the company had completed one of the largest multi-product calcium carbonate plants in the United States and in 1967 the structural marble plant was closed.

In 1983 an expansion project in the area of its calcium carbonate facilities was conducted. The expansion involved the installation of additional grinding capacity and new mill facilities and increased production. Calcium carbonate, long used as the coating of paper, was now being used as an important filler as the paper industry converted from acid-based paper making systems to alkaline systems. In 1988 English China Clays (ECC) International purchased Moretti Harrah and in 1989 ECC purchased Cyprus Thompson Weinman.

In 1995, Imetal Group of Paris, France acquired the Georgia Marble Company, allowing this international company to strengthen its U.S. presence in the white pigments industry. Between 1994 and 1998 Imetal doubled in size; one-third through sales growth and two thirds through acquisition. In 1999, Imetal acquired ECC. At that time the corporate name was changed to Imerys to reflect a new minerals processing organization.

Imerys ranks as the world’s largest producer of natural mineral products. Hundreds of products, ranging from the uniformly beautiful panels for buildings to finely ground marble powders for fillers and extenders in paints, plastics, papers, rubber, adhesives, caulks, roofing, flooring, fiberglass and ceramics.

Imerys employs more than 440 people in their Sylacauga operations.

Sylacauga is also home to Gravity hill.

Demographics



As of the census of 2000, there were 12,616 people, 5,215 households, and 3,421 families residing in the city. The population density was 681.0 people per square mile (262.9/km²). There were 5,748 housing units at an average density of 310.3/sq mi (119.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.17% White, 28.91% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. 0.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,215 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 81.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,533, and the median income for a family was $40,275. Males had a median income of $32,092 versus $21,990 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,209. About 16.6% of families and 21.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.6% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Sylacauga is governed via the mayor-council system. The city council consists of five members each elected from one of five districts. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote to a four year term.

Notable people from Sylacauga



References



External links




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